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Friday, May 30, 2014

Nashville Food Friday: Savor Nashville 2014

A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles.
Last night I had the pleasure of attending Savor Nashville. This lovely event was put on by Nashville Lifestyles in conjunction with the celebrity chef tour benefiting the James Beard Foundation. The event was held in the ballroom at the Hutton hotel, a luxurious space if ever there was one. When I arrived for cocktail hour I was greeted with passed appetizers, a signature drink special, and a silent auction benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank. There were a ton of really great auction prizes and I'm sure some people went home very happy (including whoever won the induction oven).
A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles. Hutton Hotel
A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles. Flowers
The ballroom was white, airy and had centerpieces made of up of edibles. How clever! I love that hydrangeas were mixed in with cauliflower, radishes and brussels sprouts. The plan for the night was laid out for us: we would be served seven courses by seven different chefs each paired with a wine chosen by Jenn Doherty McCarthy of Rumours Wine Bar. Did I have enough stomach space for all of this? Only time will tell.
A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles. Frank Bonanno
The first course was an antipasti with coppa, proscuitto, fresh mozzarella and a lightly dressed arugula salad by Frank Bonanno of Bonanno Concepts in Denver.   The mozzarella was light and soft and just broke apart at the touch of a fork. The spice of the arugula balanced out the salt of the house-cured meats. I really enjoyed the coppa. It was sliced thinly without losing its dimensions and was very easy to cut up. On top of all of this was a very lightly puffed cracker that was hollow on the inside. I could see myself eating a box of those myself. This dish was paired with a La Marca Prosecco, which made me happy because I always love bubbles.
A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles. Kevin Nashan
The second dish by Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis really surprised me. This was a vegetarian dish that was unexpectedly complex and impressive- a farro ragout with sprouted grains, harissa, sheep's milk cheese and currants. There were fried/crisped kernels of rice on top that really added another dimension to this dish and prevented it from being a soggy mush, as some vegetarian dishes tend to be. The harissa added a nice heat that slowly built up while I ate, and by the end of the dish I could really feel it. My only personal note was that there could have been bit more of the currants scattered throughout. I'm a big fan of currants and I felt that the punch of sweet was so important to the dish that next time, perhaps Chef Nashan can use less restraint when sprinkling on the berries. This course was served with a Domaine de la Tournelle Savagnin. This was a really nice, well-rounded wine and probably my favorite white of the night.
A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles.  Michael Ginor Hudson Valley Foie Gras
When the chefs for the dinner were announced, I knew there had to be a foie gras course. Why? Because our third course was prepared by Michael Ginor of Hudson Valley Foie Gras from New York. The dish was presented beautifully and looked more like a dessert than a proper third course. But we are adults, and we can eat dessert for dinner if we want to, because foie gras is so rich that it's basically sweet! On the plate was a torchon of foie gras, rhubarb, almonds and a little cake that appeared to contain both rhubarb and foie gras. I really loved that sweet layer cake, which caused one table mate to note that it was a bit like a peanut butter and jelly. The foie itself was top notch, and the sweet rhubarb slice was a nice addition. The almond paste streak on the plate was kind of bland to me. I was hoping it would taste more like marzipan and less like unsweetened almond milk. This course was served with a Sauternes Chateau l'Ermitage, a thick and very sweet white wine. It was basically thinned out honey in a glass and I didn't drink much of it.
A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles.  Gerard Craft Pastaria
The fourth course was pistachio raviolis with brown butter from Gerard Craft of Pastaria in St. Louis. This ravioli was phenomenal. The fresh mint sprinkled on top really opened up the nutty flavor of the pistachios and the richness of the butter. The raviolis were very wide, and the pasta was so light that I was happy the edges were a bit oversized. The pistachio inside added a subtle crunch that fit in very nicely with the petal-like noodles. I think this was the only dish of the night of which I wanted seconds! It was served with Sequoia Grove, which was a decent white wine that didn't overshadow the delicate pistachio.
A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles.  Charles Philips-1808 Grille
The fifth course was the fish course, a smoked cobia with hominy and guanciale by Charles Phillips of the 1808 Grille at the Hutton Hotel. I found the presentation of this dish sort of sloppy; the fish was cut messy and bits were flaking off all over the place. While it may not be the prettiest dish, it was sure tasty and smelled amazing. The fish itself was smoked and reminded me of what my Uncle Saully would bring over to put on bagels when I was a kid (trust me, this is a major positive). The smoke was heavy, but the cobia was a tad on the fishy side, something I don't really remember from my previous cobia experiences. And a simple shout out to hominy: I love you- you are underrated. This was paired with a Latour Marsannay from Burgundy. I am not a stickler for white wine with fish, and I'm really happy that they chose to serve a red with this woodsy dish.
A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles.  Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman- Hog and Hominy

The final meat course was from Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of Hog and Hominy in Memphis (who clearly think like me when it comes to hominy). They presented pork on a bed of veal sugo, tonno del chianti, peas and ricotta gnudi. This dish was very filling and seemed better fitted to an early fall menu than spring in Nashville. Season confusion aside, this was a very delightful dish. The tomato sauce was delicate and the pork was fork-tender. I loved the ricotta gnudi the best- and was disappointed there were only two on my plate! I guess I'll have to make my own. This was a classic dish to end the savory portion with. It was paired with a Mannella Brunello, which was more robust and to my liking.
A review of Savor 2014 by Nashville Lifestyles.  Key Lime Pie
For dessert we were presented an upside down key lime pie from James Dillon of Summer Kitchen in Rosemary Beach, Florida. This dessert was so pretty I didn't want to take my fork to it, but who am I kidding? I tore right into that thing like I didn't already eat six courses. I loved that the pie was topped with a lace cookie, one of my childhood favorites. The pie tasted like fresh limes and the dish was subtly enhanced by the micro greens sprinkled on top. This was paired with Gruet Blanc de Noirs, which was so bubbly that the carbonation went right through my nose.

This event was lovely, from the food to the service. We were even serenaded by a local singer-songwriter named Jillian Edwards during our meat courses. I enjoyed every bit of food that I ate and was exposed to a wide variety of wines to help refine my palate. Attending this event was pure decadence, and really proves that there are amazingly talented chefs changing American dining. I can only hope they repeat this event next year: it is not to be missed.

*A special thank you to Lacey Greene Keally for organizing this event and allowing me to come and blog about it. Also,  thanks to the ladies and gentleman of table 7 for making the night so fun. I attended this event gratis, but all opinions are 100% my own.*

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Savor Nashville 2014


The awesome folks over at Nashville Lifestyles are hosting an amazing dining opportunity Thursday, May 29th at the Hutton Hotel! Savor Nashville is a seven course dinner paired with wine by James Beard Award nominated chefs. It really does not get any better than this- and a bonus- tickets are still available. Check out this lineup:

Frank Bonanno of Mizuna and Luca d'Italia in Denver 
Gerard Craft of Pastaria in St. Louis 
Michael Ginor of Hudson Valley Foie Gras in Hudson Valley New York 
Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis 
Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of Hog and Hominy and Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis 
Charles Phillips of 1808 Grille in the Hutton Hotel 

Your ticket also gets you entry into Nashville's favorite meal: BRUNCH. On Saturday, May 31st from 10am to noon at the Bridge Building some of Nashville's most talented chefs will prepare you brunch samples along with Bombay Sapphire cocktails.


Karl Worley, Biscuit Love 
Jamie Watson, Cafe Fundamental
Andrew Little, Josephine
Derek Fulton, M Restaurant & Bar
Jonathan Humphrey, Mason's
Chris Futrell, Music City Tippler
B.J. Lofback, Riffs Fine Street Food
Jason Slimak, Saint Anejo
Larry Carlile, Silo
Dale LevitskiSinema Restaurant & Bar
This event is a great opportunity to sample food from national and local top chefs! One ticket gets you entry into both events so get them while they last! I look forward to seeing you all there!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Nashville Food Friday: Saint Anejo

A review of Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
This past week I was invited by the lovely folks at M. Street to try out another one of their restaurants, Saint Anejo. I really enjoyed Moto (I've been back and it's still just as amazing) and Virago, so I was excited to see what else these Gulch restauranteurs can do.
A review of Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
The decor at Saint Anjeo is clean cantina style, with incredibly high ceilings and windows that fully open to let in the summer night air. I'm personally a fan of the small string lights that crisscross the dining room; the lights and the high ceilings make you feel that you're outside in the open air, instead of in a building in one of the busiest parts of the city.
A review of Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
Lofted above the restaurant is the tequila library, a fancy and plush bar that specializes in tequila. In the corner of the room is a skull-laden couch area for you to kick back and enjoy your drinks. We were brought up here first to do a tequila tasting, something I was trepidatious about given that I've never enjoyed tequila "shots" and I haven't had one since sophomore year of college (live and learn). The restaurant manager and resident tequila expert Gabe gave us a run down of the history of tequila.
Tequila tasting at Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
The two that we sampled were the Herradura silver and the El Mayor extra anjeo. The Herradura silver looked like clear grain alcohol and tasted to me exactly like what I remembered about straight tequila: a burning kick. While I wasn't a fan of this on it's own, paring it with a cinnamon dusted orange made it palatable, but still not something I would seek out. On the other hand, I learned that there are some types of tequila out there that I do enjoy! The El Mayor extra anejo was brown like a whiskey, smooth, and had notes of caramel and vanilla. I could some of these older tequilas in the future of this scotch-drinking girl.
Guacamole at Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
Our dinner started off with classic guacamole and a mango-papaya guacamole. The classic was kind of boring and was lacking something. Because it didn't have chunks of tomatoes or onions, and the avocado was really smooth, it reminded me of a paste. I prefer chunky guacamole which is why I really enjoyed the mango-papaya options. The chunks of fresh fruit added needed sweetness and a variety in the texture. 
Queso at Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
Accompanying the guacamole were two queso options, chorizo and chile. The chorizo queso was solid, although I wished that the meat had a bit more spice and kick to it. I guess because I was craving something spicy I really liked the chile queso. The roasted peppers added a really interesting heat to the cheese, but after eating a bunch my mouth got too hot and I had to stop. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I like hot things.
Jalapeño poppers at Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
Speaking of hot things, next up was their version of jalapeno poppers. But this isn't the stuff that you get frozen/deep-fried at a bar. These were handmade applewood-smoked bacon wrapped jalapeños stuffed with jack cheese and served with a cilantro ranch. The batter was crisp and not too greasy, but this dish was so hot that no amount of ranch dressing could cool my mouth down. The bacon added a nice roundness to the heat, but all I could think about while eating this was Hot Chicken. I couldn't even finish one pepper. One whole glass of water and an avocado later, I was ready to move on with the meal.
quesadilla at Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
Quesadillas came next and I opted to try the shrimp and mango version with banana, chile, and cilantro crema. This might be my favorite dish of the evening. The shrimp was nicely cooked and still very soft. The mango (which I love) and banana (with which I have a complicated relationship) really worked well to add some tropical sweetness to this dish. What I would recommend is not using the sauce provided, or just using it sparingly. It really overpowered the delicate nature of the shrimp.
Tacos at Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
Next I tried a bunch of tacos (short rib, grilled shrimp, cilantro lime steak, and tequila lime chicken). I enjoyed the short rib tacos the most. The meat was cooked till fork-tender and seasoned in a way that really stood out. The pickled peppers that are served with it added that vinegar kick that just makes me fall more in love with Mexican food each time. The shrimp tacos were very simple; solid but not remarkable. I think this is a dish they can get more creative with. The steak was very flavorful, spicy and left a really nice taste on the palate. The meat was good quality; tender and not chewy, because no one likes a chewy taco. The chicken was just "meh." I personally don't enjoy chicken as much as other meats and I found this chicken to be kind of dry.
Tres Leches at Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
Flan at Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
For dessert we tried the tres leches and the flan. Tres leches is one of my favorite desserts and Saint Anejo did this justice. The cake was creamy, smooth, and soft without being plagued by the usual tres leches problem: So moist it's soggy to the point of imploding on itself. I love flan but I wasn't a fan of this version. It was really stiff and didn't jiggle or wiggle like flan is supposed to. It was really dense and the flavor wasn't anything special. I'd skip the flan and save the calories.
Churros at Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
As a bonus, Chef Jason Slimak brought out mini churros with house made dulce de leche. These were prefect and reminded me of ordering churros out of an old guy's shopping cart in New York (that's a good thing!). They were crispy on the outside but really soft on the inside. And the tasty dulce de leche didn't hurt either.

Chef Jason came around, talked to our group, and was really friendly. We talked about our love of all the "nasty" stuff, like tripe and tongue. I really think that Saint Anejo can bring some more of that traditional/authentic flavor to their menu, but do it in the classy M. Street style, so that people who would normally shy away would be roped in by the creativity.
A review of Saint Anejo Mexican Restaurant in the Gulch, Nashville Tennessee.
Before coming to Saint Anejo, I had previously written off up-scale Mexican places. I had been to a few in Nashville, New York and elsewhere and I was never THAT impressed. I always came back to the small taco truck or the Mom and Pop place. Saint Anejo gives the diner something different, a fabulous tequila list, a fully stocked bar, a trendy atmosphere and good food. Things that the drive through taco places on Nolensville (which are still REALLY good) just don't have. The prices are also more expensive than most Mexican food, so there might be some sticker shock. What I can say is that the quality of the food, the service, and the ambiance is top-notch, so factor that all together when you get your check. 
I would recommend coming here for a first date, girls night out, pre-concert dinner/drinks or late night snacks. Or just have a really nice after-work drink at the bar.
Saint Añejo on Urbanspoon
**This experience was complimentary but all opinions are real and 100% my own. I would like to thank the nice people at M. Street who keep making this little local blogger feel like a celebrity- Jennifer, Jamie and Gabe.**

Friday, May 16, 2014

Food Friday Florence Alabama: City Hardware


A review of City Hardware in Florence Alabama.
This past weekend Steve and I headed down to Florence, Alabama to check out their restaurant week offerings. We were invited by Florence Main Street to take in the sights, see the town and eat some food. The list of participating restaurants were hard to chose from and there are a lot of good options in this quaint small town. If you're considering going, restaurant week in Florence runs until May 17th. 
A review of City Hardware in Florence Alabama.
When we were told that Atlanta bloggers and all-around nice people Grant and Marie from Marie Let's Eat were going to be in Florence as well, we knew we wanted to dine with them. City Hardware was high on both our lists, so that made our choice easy. City Hardware is located in the heart of downtown Florence, right on the main drag of Court Street. No need to worry about downtown parking though; there are plenty of spots nearby. There was a big line outside for City Hardware and next door neighbor Ricatoni's, but we were smart and made a reservation.
A review of City Hardware in Florence Alabama.
The inside of City Hardware looks like a dark bar. There are tons of wood features and exposed brick walls. They have plush booths, bar seating and regular tables. The place was bigger than I expected, taking up two floors of a building. The inside was nice and clean, and the low lighting was inviting.
Drinks at  City Hardware in Florence Alabama.
After perusing the cocktail list I ordered a French 75 and Steve got an Old Fashioned. The French 75 was refreshing for a hot day, but a tad bit too sweet for me overall. Steve found his drink quite good, if not slightly bitter on the back end. We both agreed that too much ice was used in each drink, diluting the flavor very quickly.
Crab Cakes at  City Hardware in Florence Alabama.
The menu at City Hardware has something for everyone. It includes sushi, flat breads and burgers, as well as southern style favorites. Steve and I started with the crab cakes with chipotle remoulade. These crab cakes were crispier and flatter than what I am used to up north, but that is neither here nor there. What matters is that these were pretty darn good. The filling was all crab and I didn't detect some of the fluff that other places add that detracts from the crab. The crunchy breading worked really well and the cakes were massive. The remoulade was nice and tangy and definitely brought a southern flair to the traditionally New England dish. Even the side salad was perfectly dressed and enjoyable.
Catfish at  City Hardware in Florence Alabama.
For his entree, Steve ordered the pecan crusted catfish. The fish was not over fried and the meat was very tender. The sauce on top was made with Andouille sausage and shrimp, really hitting home the Cajun inspiration. The sides of broccoli and rice were pretty boring compared to the entree as a whole. They really need to pump up the spice on the broccoli and ad something to the rice to make it more interesting.
Pork Chop at City Hardware in Florence Alabama.
For my entree I went with the grilled pork chop with brown sugar and balsamic apples. The chop was thick cut and cooked well. It had a lot of flavor and was really soft and slightly salty, lending me to think it had been properly brined. I do wish that they'd put a few more of those sweet apples on my plate. They worked really well with chop. My side dishes definitely laid the smack-down on Steve's. Their Brussels sprouts were my favorite thing, roasted with bacon to get that sweet and savory pork flavor. The mashed potatoes were standard until you mixed them with the drippings from the chop, then they were perfect.
A review of City Hardware in Florence Alabama.
Overall, our meal at City Hardware was really nice. The service was super fast, our food was tasty, and the portions were even too big for me to finish. The location is great, right in the heart of downtown. If you come down to Florence this is a great place to stop!

City Hardware on Urbanspoon

**While I was invited to review this restaurant for Florence Main Street, we paid for half of the meal ourselves and the opinions are 100% my own.**

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Music City Food + Wine 2014 Lineup Announced!

The line-up for this year's Music City Food + Wine festival (formally Music City Eats) has just been announced and it's KILLER! The daytime event will be held on September 20-21, 2014 in Public Square Park. And Harvest Night will be September 20th at Walk of Fame Park. Tickets went on sale today and you can get them HERE.

I had an amazing time last year and it made all my foodie dreams come true. You can read about my experience and all the things I ate here. Some of my local favorites will be at the Grand Taste this year including:

And that is just a TINY snippet of all the amazing chefs who will be there. In addition to local favorites, national chef-lebrities will be on-hand giving cooking demonstrations and providing you delicious tastes during Harvest Night. Some of the folks I'm looking forward to are:
I'm so excited about the second year of this event! You get to listen and learn form top national chefs, you get to taste food from local favorites and you get to sample a bunch of wine and whiskey. You cannot go wrong! Tickets are on sale NOW, so you should snag them up!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Nashville Food Friday: Yeast Nashville

A review of kolache place Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
During my first trip to Houston/Austin about 8 years ago, I become obsessed with Kolaches. I had these sweet and savory pastries every day, sometimes multiple times a day. And when I left, I had a hole in my heart and stomach that can only be filled with Kolaches. Lucky for me Yeast Nashville opened recently and filled that void with delicious baked goodness.
A review of kolache place Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
A review of kolache place Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
Located in the new Eastside Station, Yeast Nashville is an open concept bakery. While you're making your decision, you can see the bakers making goodies and smell what just came out of the oven. The decor is clean and simple, but I love the touches of art from locals such as Kid Oak and Jay Millar.
A review of kolache place Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
A review of kolache place Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
There are so many hard choices to make at Yeast Nashville. Everything sounded, looked and smelled so good. There were many options from sweet fruit pastries to savory egg and meat options. And they all look incredibly pretty.
Canadian Bacon, Egg and Cheese Kolache at Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
Canadian Bacon, Egg and Cheese Kolache at Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
For my breakfast I chose the savory Canadian bacon, egg and cheese kolache. OMG this was so amazing, and reminded me of the first time I fell in love with these pastries! The dough was light, fluffy and warm with a light sweetness to it. The filling was full of flavor enhanced by the onions and peppers in the eggs. The bacon added a little saltiness, which rounded out a perfect breakfast.
Breakfast pot pie at Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
Breakfast pot pie at Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
Steve went a more non-traditional route and ordered the breakfast pot pie, which was basically a quiche inside of phyllo dough. The filling was egg, cheese, peppers and spinach. Steve really liked this dish and ate it very quickly. I think I've created an addict.
Cream Cheese Kolache at Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
Since we couldn't leave without trying a sweet Kolache we tried the cream cheese version. It reminded me of my favorite New York danish. This went perfectly with our coffee (you should try dunking it, for sure).
A review of kolache place Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
Did I mention they have a Twin Peaks pie sign?!? This place wins on SO MANY LEVELS. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the staff and how unflappably nice they were. Everyone was so genuinely sweet, talking to us like friends, asking us if we wanted more coffee. While the food here is amazing, the staff is exceptional.
A review of kolache place Yeast Nashville in East Nashville, TN
Yeast Nashville is my new favorite quick breakfast joint. They make damn fine kolaches and the friendly staff just makes me happy. This is a place you should not miss!
Yeast Nashville on Urbanspoon


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nashville's Tres De Mayo Margarita Festival

This past Saturday was the Tres de Mayo event held in downtown Nashville. I was invited to partake in festivities as well as judge the margarita competition (I know, so rough). As the day progressed the sun just kept getting hotter. Luckily for me and other festival attendees we had our choice of unlimited margaritas and Mexican beer.
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
I was so happy to see my friend Kellie bartending at the event. Not only can she make a mean drink, she also make adorable neck-ties, wallets and purses at her store Dapper Geek.
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
There was a booth filled with cute things for dogs, but the cat lady in me was sad that they neglected the other sort of furry friends. I was hoping to get Cooper a tiny sombrero.
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
These are just some of the beers that were available, though I stuck to the margaritas.
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
My friend Bekah runs High N Buy vintage and she had a booth set up. She always has a collection of really great pieces (one of my favorite rompers came from her). You can browse her selection at Fond Object.
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
Overall the vibe was really fun. It's always a good time when you get a lot of people together to drink. In addition to the margaritas, there were 15 women-fronted bands playing on two stages that day. I was REALLY impressed with the talent that I heard. I had no idea there were that many kick-ass lady-bands in town. They did an excellent job on the entertainment selection.
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee

Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
There were a lot of food trucks and all had some form of Mexican food. I had a hard time making a decision but after walking back and forth for 20 minutes I went with tacos from the Confeastador food truck. The shrimp taco was my favorite! The shrimp were really tender and not a tad bit over cooked. The carnitas were solid and had a nice tomatillo salsa.
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
Then it was time for the margarita judging. I can't remember how many I sampled, but it was a good amount. Drinks were judged on presentation, creativity and taste. Some were downright nasty and reminded me of getting drunk my first week of college. Others tasted exactly like watermelon, lemonade, or mango. 
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
My favorite and the one that got maximum points on all scales was this little rosemary, cucumber and jalapeño number. It was the least sweet and the most refreshing of all the drinks I sampled. You could really taste the cucumber and rosemary but the spice was not overwhelming at all. This was a very well balanced drink. I believe that this margarita came from M. Restaurant. Though I'm not 100% sure and I never found out who won. 
Review of Nashville's Tres de Mayo Margarita Festival held in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
While there were some snags, like metro not approving the VIP tent and there being very few shady spots to hide under, it was still a good time. I hope next year there are more shady areas for light-skinned ladies like me, and for the bands. Overall, this was a really fun experience and I hope that this event gets even bigger next year!

** Special thanks to Lauren and the rest of the Hootenanny Events crew. Thank you for letting me be part of this!**
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